Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Putin Hopes Snowden Leaves Moscow Soon

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the sooner U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden leaves Moscow the better, but he had no intention of handing him to Washington.

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This is where former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is now believed to be located.

He fled to Hong Kong before making his way here, to this Moscow airport, in an attempt to evade U.S. authorities that have charged him with disclosing secret surveillance programs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a visit to Finland, confirmed that Snowden was indeed in Moscow after his foreign minister had denied he was in Russia.

In his first public comments since Edward Snowden flew in on Sunday, Putin appeared to make light of the diplomatic uproar over the fugitive.

[Vladimir Putin, Russian President]:
"It's like shearing a piglet: there's a lot of squealing, but there's little wool"

The Russian leader said he hoped the affair would not affect his country's relationship with Washington, and said the sooner Snowden leaves Russia, the better.

Thirty-year-old Snowden's leaked information points to mass surveillance of emails and other communications by the U.S.-based National Security Agency.

Anti-secrecy group Wikileaks say Snowden is headed for Ecuador where he may be granted asylum.